Speaking the Language of Business

Languages of the World – Part 6

The last of 6 blog posts in a series that covered all the countries of the world and the dominant languages within those countries. In this 6th post, we have 38 countries ranging from Suriname to Zimbabwe. All of these numbers and facts can be attributed to research done in the CIA’s World Factbook. This data is meant to improve identifying and selecting target languages when considering a geographical area to market/translate into. Please note: This list is in no way meant to be an exporting destination guide as not all listed countries are cleared by The U.S. Government for international trade.

Dutch (official), English (widely spoken), Sranang Tongo (Surinamese, sometimes called Taki-Taki, is native language of Creoles and much of the younger population and is lingua franca among others), Caribbean Hindustani (a dialect of Hindi), Javanese

Norwegian, Russian

English (official, government business conducted in English), siSwati (official)

Swedish, small Sami- and Finnish-speaking minorities

German (official) 63.7%, French (official) 20.4%, Italian (official) 6.5%, Serbo-Croatian 1.5%, Albanian 1.3%, Portuguese 1.2%, Spanish 1.1%, English 1%, Romansch (official) 0.5%, other 2.8% (2000 census) note: German, French, Italian, and Romansch are all national and official languages

Arabic (official); Kurdish, Armenian, Aramaic, Circassian widely understood; French, English somewhat understood

Mandarin Chinese (official), Taiwanese (Min), Hakka dialects

Tajik (official), Russian widely used in government and business

Kiswahili or Swahili (official), Kiunguja (name for Swahili in Zanzibar), English (official, primary language of commerce, administration, and higher education), Arabic (widely spoken in Zanzibar), many local languages note: Kiswahili (Swahili) is the mother tongue of the Bantu people living in Zanzibar and nearby coastal Tanzania; although Kiswahili is Bantu in structure and origin, its vocabulary draws on a variety of sources including Arabic and English; it has become the lingua franca of central and eastern Africa; the first language of most people is one of the local languages

Thai, English (secondary language of the elite), ethnic and regional dialects

Tetum (official), Portuguese (official), Indonesian, English note: there are about 16 indigenous languages; Tetum, Galole, Mambae, and Kemak are spoken by significant numbers of people

French (official and the language of commerce), Ewe and Mina (the two major African languages in the south), Kabye (sometimes spelled Kabiye) and Dagomba (the two major African languages in the north)

Tokelauan (a Polynesian language), English

Tongan, English

Trinidad and Tobago
English (official), Caribbean Hindustani (a dialect of Hindi), French, Spanish, Chinese

Arabic (official and one of the languages of commerce), French (commerce)

Turkish (official), Kurdish, other minority languages

Turkmen (official) 72%, Russian 12%, Uzbek 9%, other 7%

Turks and Caicos Islands
English (official)

Tuvaluan, English, Samoan, Kiribati (on the island of Nui)

English (official national language, taught in grade schools, used in courts of law and by most newspapers and some radio broadcasts), Ganda or Luganda (most widely used of the Niger-Congo languages, preferred for native language publications in the capital and may be taught in school), other Niger-Congo languages, Nilo-Saharan languages, Swahili, Arabic

Ukrainian (official) 67%, Russian 24%, other 9% (includes small Romanian-, Polish-, and Hungarian-speaking minorities)

United Arab Emirates
Arabic (official), Persian, English, Hindi, Urdu

United Kingdom
English note: the following are recognized regional languages: Scots (about 30% of the population of Scotland), Scottish Gaelic (about 60,000 in Scotland), Welsh (about 20% of the population of Wales), Irish (about 10% of the population of Northern Ireland), Cornish (some 2,000 to 3,000 in Cornwall)

United States
English 82.1%, Spanish 10.7%, other Indo-European 3.8%, Asian and Pacific island 2.7%, other 0.7% (2000 census) note: Hawaiian is an official language in the state of Hawaii

Spanish, Portunol, or Brazilero (Portuguese-Spanish mix on the Brazilian frontier)

Uzbek 74.3%, Russian 14.2%, Tajik 4.4%, other 7.1%

local languages (more than 100) 72.6%, pidgin (known as Bislama or Bichelama) 23.1%, English 1.9%, French 1.4%, other 0.3%, unspecified 0.7% (1999 Census)

Spanish (official), numerous indigenous dialects

Vietnamese (official), English (increasingly favored as a second language), some French, Chinese, and Khmer; mountain area languages (Mon-Khmer and Malayo-Polynesian)

Virgin Islands
English 74.7%, Spanish or Spanish Creole 16.8%, French or French Creole 6.6%, other 1.9% (2000 census)

Wallis and Futuna
Wallisian 58.9% (indigenous Polynesian language), Futunian 30.1%, French 10.8%, other 0.2% (2003 census)

West Bank
Arabic, Hebrew (spoken by Israeli settlers and many Palestinians), English (widely understood)

Western Sahara
Hassaniya Arabic, Moroccan Arabic

Mandarin Chinese 12.65%, Spanish 4.93%, English 4.91%, Arabic 3.31%, Hindi 2.73%, Bengali 2.71%, Portuguese 2.67%, Russian 2.16%, Japanese 1.83%, Standard German 1.35%, Javanese 1.27% (2008 est.) note: percents are for “first language” speakers only


Bemba 30.1% (official), Nyanja 10.7% (official), Tonga 10.6% (official), Lozi 5.7% (official), Chewa 4.9%, Nsenga 3.4%, Tumbuka 2.5%, Lunda 2.2% (official), Kaonde 2% (official), Lala 2%, Luvale 1.7% (official), English 1.7% (official), other 22.5% (2000 Census)

English (official), Shona, Sindebele (the language of the Ndebele, sometimes called Ndebele), numerous but minor tribal dialects

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments are closed.